I’m a little late to the game, but I just watched the final episode of the first season, s01e13: Inquest, of Shield of Tomorrow, the Star Trek live-streamed roleplaying series, on Geek & Sundry Twitch or more exclusively on the private platform Project Alpha, using the new Star Trek Adventures RPG rules from Modiphius. I haven’t been able to catch it, it streamed after I was usually already asleep, the VODs are subscriber only, and if I notice that it’s being re-streamed I haven’t wanted to just jump in the middle … but, this was the final episode of the season, and I watched it.
Now, that’s some damned fine Star Trek. I mean, I realize that was the final episode for the season and so it wrapped up a lot from previous episodes, but that was intense and emotional. Damned near equivalent to some of the best broadcast Star Trek episodes I’ve watched. There was emotion, drama, and intrigue; there were callback to other movies and series; and a final surprise denouement full of hope for the future.
The emotional investment of players like Amy Dallen in the life of an organism encountered was on par with the best of Voyager in the episode Tuvix, which is the first and so far only episode of Star Trek that prompted me to write to congratulate cast and crew on an amazing job, just to put that into perspective. The drama and intrigue of the interaction with Starfleet Intelligence, and the effect on players like Hector Navarro, was on par with the best of Deep Space Nine in episodes featuring Section 31 or focused on Garak’s espionage and secrets. Furthermore, the ability to weave into the story elements from the movies and broadcast series created some fantastic business and dialogue for the players, and that’s something the best of episodes like Deep Space Nine’s Trials and Tribble-ations prove is a compelling experience for the audience and cast.
Seriously, Inquest made me remember how excellent Star Trek can really be when it reaches for those huge allegorical dilemmas in the human experience and while showing the emotional toll and toil those experiences place on those going through them. I appreciate the work done by the entire cast of players and the game master Eric Collin Campbell, as well as the crew on the shoot, for a job well damned done.
With season two tonight, as it moves to Monday nights, at an earlier 7pm PDT time slot, I may just have to stay up late to go with these fine people on their continuing voyages, and catch up on the rest when I can.